I know a lot of people are going to disagree with me about this, but some of the most prominent traits that we see as differences between men and women are not natural, they’re learned. Think of it as nature versus nurture! By that I mean, it’s not like cis-gender girls come out of the damn womb loving makeup and loving a good heart to heart, and cis-gender boys don’t come out of the womb with an interest in sports and checking out girls like predators (sorry, had to say it). Nope, this behavior isn’t determined by what lies between our legs, it’s about standards that we’re brought up to follow, from our parents, family, friends, classmates, media, etc. For example, girls are expected to care more about their appearance, and makeup is largely marketed at women, so of course girls are going to assume that makeup is for girls; it’s not in the DNA, it’s in the culture, y’all.
Recently, I wrote about “girly” that guys should start doing, like crying, body-positivity, and a good ol’ pedicure every now and then. Men are socialized to think of those things as feminine and therefore bad, but it’s time for them to see the light: there are plenty of things out there that are expected of women that should be absolutely fair game for guys and might just make their lives a little better. On the flip side, women aren’t generally told to view “masculine” behavior as inherently negative–in fact, if anything, we’re told to just deal with the worst of it, like street harassment. But while there are plenty of deplorable behaviors that have been deemed masculine, there are some that girls actually could benefit from adopting. To get an idea of what I’m talking about, check out these seven “masculine” things that girls should start doing.
Not Caring About How Many People You Hook Up WithWe know the ol' double standard: Guys who sleep with a lot of people are cool, girls who do the same thing are sluts. Wow, aren't sexist double standards great? And by great, I mean effing disgusting. Luckily, this way of thinking is slowly becoming less popular in some circles, but some people will always think less of girls who have a sex life. Listen, don't associate your worth to your "body count" (which is a gross way to refer to sexual partners, by the way), and try not to let other people do that to you either. Anybody who gets caught up on how many partners you've had is a sad case. That '70s Show
Not Stressing About How Hairy You AreDudes aren't expected to care about how hairy they are, but women are traditionally deemed unladylike or even dirty if they dare have a little stubble under their arms. Whether you prefer to be hairless or if you like your legs to resemble a sheepdog, there's something freeing about reaching a level of not really stressing about how hairy you are on a given day in any given situation. Feeling carefree about my body hair, especially around my boyfriend, was such a relief and I encourage as many of you as possible to not let your day get ruined because you noticed that you missed a spot shaving. Illustration by Sarah Wintner
Making The First MoveIn hetero situations, men are expected to be the ones to make the first move, while women wait for somebody to come to them. Honestly, screw those norms. If you want to take action, do it, without thinking that it's destiny for a guy to court you. In fact, a recent study has indicated that girls who make the first move on dating apps like OKCupid have a better shot at finding a partner who isn't, uh, garbage. As somebody who made the first move with the guy I'm currently dating (and via OKC, too), I can safely say that I don't regret my decision. Submarine
Being Firm In Professional SituationsThere are plenty of women out there who aren't afraid to take charge, but being blunt, forceful, and upfront is definitely not the way women are socialized to interact, especially with authority figures who might have an impact on our futures. We're taught, instead, to settle for less than ideal situations instead of negotiating, and peppering our strongly worded statements with phrases like "sorry" and "I don't know"...even when we're not sorry and we DO know how we feel. Be bold and go far, girl. This is so much easier said than done, but you might not regret the results. Daria
Not Being Afraid To Fart Or Poop Around BaeI'm not saying you should fart with wild abandon. I am saying that if you need to let one rip, try to get to a point in which you don't feel so anxious about it. Hell, when it comes to pooping, I've seen women on television and women I know IRL literally leave a dude's house just to come home and poop in their own toilet. Like...guys probably aren't having an anxiety attack about pooping in your toilet, or anybody else's. Live your life and love your bowels, please. Pinterest
Taking Up SpaceShould you manspread like those clueless dudes do on public transit? No. But it doesn't hurt to be more at ease with taking up however much space you need. Whenever somebody is manspreading, I see women squeezing themselves into tiny little balls to accommodate them. Also, when a man and woman walk toward each other, a woman is more likely to make way for a man to pass than the other way around. We need to quit thinking that we're less worthy of space than men are. MTA
Not Attributing Your Worth To How Youthful You LookLet's face it: Men can age with few repercussions; hell, some think that an older man is more dignified and worthy of respect. Older women? Oh, they're just washed up and can't be beautiful anymore. Listen, I'm not saying that you have to promise not to have a face lift in 40 years (even Helen Mirren has had work done), but it wouldn't hurt if we thought about aging in a more healthy way. We might not be able to stop a sexist society for judging our future wrinkles or sags, but a little self-love doesn't hurt. WENN
What other “masculine” things should girls embrace? Do you think there are things that are considered “girly” that more men should embrace? What Tell us in the comments!